U.S. Army Reserve role with USARAF to expand, evolve in future
Feb. 15, 2012 — By Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
VICENZA, Italy – As part of a command visit to Europe, Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief, Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command (USAR), visited U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) Headquarters, Feb. 12.
During the visit, Stultz along with his Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz and Maj. Gen. David Elmo, deputy chief of staff for mobilization and reserve affairs, U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), first participated in a conference call with Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commanding general, USAREUR. Next, the three senior leaders met with USARAF Chief of Staff Col. Marcus De Oliveira and Sgt. Maj. Frank Lauer, USARAF operations sergeant major, to discuss the Army Reserve’s future role with USARAF.
Stultz said USARAF and Army Reserve Soldiers have a good working relationship and Reservists add value to the USARAF mission, so their role will likely evolve and expand.
“In the future, we’ll probably play a much bigger role with USARAF,” Stultz said. “We [already] have people on staff here at U.S. Army Africa [so] it’s a growing relationship. We bring to USARAF the same thing we bring to other combatant commands -- capabilities,” he said.
The Army Reserve has particularly large capabilities regarding medical, engineering, civil affairs and training. According to Stultz, the Army Reserve has about 85 percent of the Army’s civil affairs capability; 60 percent of its medical capability; 85 percent of its transportation capability; and 75 percent of its engineering capacity lies in both Guard and Reserve assets.
Stultz said “it’s those types of capabilities that are especially key” since reservists often support USARAF medical readiness exercises and are working on engineering projects in the Horn of Africa.
The Army Reserve plays a role in engagement strategies and security cooperation operations in Africa as well as other parts of the world by offering services of trained Reservists.
“We’ll have more capability available for units like U.S. Army Africa to tap into, so as we run our force generation cycle, we tell our Soldiers to prepare for deployment of some sort every five years,” Stultz said. “We are looking at being available to go to Africa, to the Philippines and the Pacific, and be available to support operations in Central and South America for U.S. Army Southern Command,” he said.
As the U.S. Army eyes a major drawdown, Stultz said the Army Reserve manpower cuts won’t be as severe and Reserve Soldiers are going to become more relevant than ever.
“As the drawdown of forces occurs, it’s going to be mainly in the active force. For the Reserves, we’re not going to draw down as significantly…and we will welcome qualified Soldiers leaving active duty,” he said.
With the demand for Soldiers decreasing in Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be more opportunities for Army Reservists to support USARAF missions.
“So for us, it’s not so much a matter of cuts, it’s a matter of more reliance and relevance for the future,” Stultz said. “That’s why we’ve got to [remain] engaged with units like U.S. Army Africa. We’ve been able to answer the question [regarding] capabilities needed for future operations so we [must] ensure USAR Soldiers are trained, ready and available when they are needed,” he said.
With the Army relying more heavily on the Reserve, standards will most likely be increased, Stultz said.
“We’ve got to make sure we are more ready than ever to meet the needs of the Army of the future, and meet personnel standards, physically, medically and educationally,” Stultz said. “If Reserve Soldiers don’t meet the standards, they may not have a seat at the table,” he emphasized.
Stultz said there will be a great talent pool to bring into the Reserve with the active Army drawing down.
“It’s not that we are going to come in and clean house -- if a Reserve Soldier is doing what they should be doing, we want them to stay, [but] we will find Soldiers who can replace the ones not making standard,” Stultz said.